Government accused of betraying workers as jobs bill is shelved | Business

The government has been accused of betraying some of Britain’s lowest-paid and most vulnerable workers after it emerged it would leave out the Queen’s Speech landmark labor rights reforms.

The Jobs Bill is not expected to be on Parliament’s priority list next Tuesday as the government focuses on policies related to energy and economic crime.

The bill, which is delayed for a second year, would have introduced protections against pregnancy-related discrimination, guaranteed that restaurants would remit all service charges and tips to staff, and created a single enforcement body of labor rights to ensure that abuses do not fall into the gaps between different regulators.

Other measures were to include a default right to flexible working models and new safeguards for the gig economy and zero-hours workers who had been promised more “predictable contracts”.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘If the Government does not present a Jobs Bill at the Queen’s Speech next week it will betray some of the lowest paid workers and the Britain’s most vulnerable.

“Ministers have no excuse to break their promise to strengthen workers’ rights – especially after the scandalous events at P&O. They will have cheated the workers.

Laurence Turner, head of research and policy at the GMB union, said: “This is a historic missed opportunity. Ministers must introduce strengthened legislation that extends workers’ rights and outlaws the pernicious practice of firing and rehiring once and for all.

Alex Marshall, the leader of the IWGB union, which represents thousands of gig economy workers, including couriers for takeaway delivery companies Deliveroo and Just Eat, said he was not surprised by the last delay.

He said the UK government’s actions left him behind Europe, which passed legislation to crack down on bogus self-employment to guarantee workers the minimum wage, access to sick pay, holidays and other employment rights.

The Jobs Bill was first promised in December 2019 following Boris Johnson’s general election victory, claimed as a way to improve post-Brexit UK workers’ rights.

The plan to crack down on restaurants keeping waiters and kitchen staff tipping was promised as recently as September last year – five years after it was first proposed by the government.

The new legislation was promised as a follow-up to a first installment of changes implemented in April 2019 that ensured workers received a written statement of their rights on the first day of work and an end to rules that allowed workers temporary workers to be paid less. than employees in the same role.

These reforms came more than two years after they were recommended in a government-backed report on employment practices by former Tony Blair adviser Matthew Taylor, which was published in July 2017.

Taylor said on Thursday: ‘It is very disappointing to see the government once again fail to act on the recommendations of the Good Work review. This leaves many detrimental weaknesses in our system of labor regulation and employment taxation unaddressed.

Sharon Graham, general secretary of the Unite union, said: “Frankly, this jobs bill was never going to address the key issues facing workers whose jobs, wages and conditions are under attack. It is therefore quite pathetic that the government is not even ready to table its own weak proposals to tinker at the margins.

“Ministers are wringing their hands over outrageous attacks on workers, such as the P&O sackings. But when it comes to action, they always side with the employers and leave the workers out in the cold.

Leave a Comment